Monthly Archives: September 2017

Niklas Kullström

CfP: Helsinki Photomedia Conference 2018

Call for Papers

Helsinki Photomedia 2018

March 26 -28, 2018
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

Deadline for 500 word abstracts: October 31, 2017

Theme: Reconsidering the “Post-truth Condition”: Epistemologies of the photographic image.

Contemporary photography takes place in a world where the relation between facts and values is a social and political issue which has repercussions in art and education as well. The public discussions on information warfare, fake news and manipulated media contents have shaken the epistemology of news media and generally revitalized the questions of trustfulness of media representations. Problematic statements about the ‘post-truth condition’ symptomatically reflect this situation and pose new challenges to our understanding of the epistemology of the photographic image.

It is vital to reconsider the ‘post-truth condition’ as a discursive and imaginary formation. This implies that its claims cannot be taken at face value. At the same time, however, as a socially seducing phenomenon, it arranges new settings for old questions of photographic knowledge, authenticity, veracity and truthfulness. It postulates a political and social terrain where photographic images circulate and participate in the formation of socially efficient visual knowledge.

Hence, the controversial notion of post-truth actualizes questions of the quality of photographic information, knowledge and data. Rich in detail, photographs are able to communicate in a constative, laconic manner. Photographs are “dense data” and their mute appearances are malleable material for various information structures.

Helsinki Photomedia 2018 invites critical examinations, artistic reflections and presentations of educational projects of photography after the ‘post-truth condition’, especially work which addresses the variety of ends that photographic truth, authenticity, indexicality, manipulation and suspicion have to stand for. Photomedia 2018 will take up the multifaceted question concerning the photographic epistemology by focusing on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Evidence and testimony
  • Photography and knowledge
  • Technical aspects of photographic data
  • Visual information and counter-information
  • Strategies of authentication
  • Photography and education



Keynote speakers 2018:

Professor Robert Hariman (Northwestern University)

Professor John Lucaites (Indiana University)

Professor Barbie Zelizer (University of Pennsylvania)

Artist Keynote Professor Walid Raad (The Cooper Union, NYC)

Hariman and Lucaites are authors of The Public Image, Photography and Civic Spectatorship (2016) and No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (2007).

Zelizer’s work on photography includes the books About to Die: How News Images Move the Public (2010) and Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory through the Camera’s Eye (2000).

Artist keynote speaker Walid Raad is a contemporary media artist who’s works include The Atlas Group project about the contemporary history of Lebanon.

Helsinki Photomedia is a biennial photography research conference organized by four Finnish universities since 2012. The conference offers various platforms where artistic, philosophical, social, cultural, economical and technological approaches to photography meet. We welcome submissions from all areas of photography research. Since 2016 photography education has been one of the areas and we welcome submissions for the educational panel for presenting educational projects and related research. The conference language is English.

Important dates:

31 October 2017 – Deadline for submissions (500 word abstracts) by 23.59 Finnish time (UCT +2:00)

1 December 2017 – Notifications of Acceptance

1 March 2018 – Deadline for Registration

26–28 March 2018 – Conference in Helsinki


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Radical Relevances 2018

We invite researchers and artists straddling multiple (or within one) disciplines to submit papers and artworks that go beyond the rational and explore what is relevant to lived experience.

25.–27.4.2018, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

Radical Relevances is a peer reviewed multidisciplinary journal and conference addressing complex global phenomena of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity, income inequality, and mass migration.
We invite researchers and artists straddling multiple (or within one) disciplines to submit papers and artworks that go beyond the rational and explore what is relevant to lived experience.


The First Global Radical Relevances Conference asks: How do economic, social, and cultural practices reflect the global uncertainty of today with its shifting geopolitics and environmental realities? How to engage in new ways of thinking about and practicing in terms of human and nonhuman co-existence and flourishing in the midst of vast predictable and unpredictable planetary transformations? How to study the relevances of certain objective realities that nevertheless escape the sensory equipment of an individual?

We call for social and natural scientists, artists, philosophers and activists to go beyond the rational or rationalized to the actual relevances underlying human activity. Such a focus requires not only more attention to everyday life, but also novel methodologies and research designs. We call for thinking about how to mobilize objectively relevant ideas to people so that these become relevant in their everyday life – at both work and home. The conference aims at serious de-normalization of the status quo, yet even more importantly, to explore, formalize, and theorize answers and resolutions to the urgent and massive problems that humanity and the planet face.

The theme for this first conference is open. However, if possible, our interests converge towards two, seemingly unconnected topics: the Arctic region and health-beyond-human. Melting ice caps on Greenland not only dislodge natural resources to mining, drilling and damming, but NATO camps formerly buried by ice now exude toxins into the thawed flows. Inuit women – sharing a similar fate with the ice bear, another large carnivore mammal from the same region – have the largest amounts of heavy metals in their mother’s milk. In addition to the melting ice, global winds converge pollutants from the rest of the world to Greenland and the Arctic Sea. Indeed, we learn from the Inuit and the ice-bear that on this planet, there is no remoteness, no outside.

Submission forms

Please submit your long abstract (of 1000 – 1500 words) or short paper (max 3000 words) to by 30th of September, 2017. Please include any images, tables, or diagrams at low resolution at this phase. Please state Title, Author(s), and Email Address. Upon acceptance to conference we ask you to submit a full paper of max 8000 words.


You may also submit works in other forms – for instance, a poster, performance, workshop, or an intervention. Tell us about the work you would like to present and we will be in touch with you to find appropriate ways to include it in the limited settings of our conference. Please submit your proposal (max 1500 words) to by 30th of September, 2017. Please include images only at low resolution at this phase. If applicable, add links to online video and/or audio material. Please state Title, Author(s) and/or Artist(s), and Email Address.

ACCEPTANCE TO THE CONFERENCE notification at the latest 1st of November 2017

Accepted contributors, please note that a registration fee of 100 euros is required from affiliated scholars and artists with funding. No registration fee is expected from non-affiliated scholars and artists.
We grant a limited amount of travel stipends to non-affiliated scholars and artists coming without funding from outside Europe. To inquire more about such a grant, please contact us.

Radical Relevances Conference Team:

Pia Lindman, Professor of Environmental Art
Ossi Ollinaho, Doctor of Science (Technology)
Tim Smith, Postdoctoral Researcher
Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, coordinator, Doctoral Candidate

For more information, please email:
Radical Relevances website

Job Call: Two Tenure-track Assistant Professor positions at Syracuse University in Communication, Culture, and Digital Technologies

The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University seeks two tenure-track assistant professors in Communication, Culture, and Digital Technologies. Appointment begins August 2018. Ideally, candidates will possess research and teaching expertise in critical media studies, transnational media studies, transmedia studies, and/or multi-modal discourse analysis. Applicants should complement the department’s current strengths in Rhetoric, Critical Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, and Discourse Analysis. PhD in communication or a related field must be completed by August, 2018, with superior training and exceptional promise for long-term outstanding research, teaching, and service. With primary expertise established, we welcome specific research and teaching interests from subfields including but not limited to political, organizational, legal, popular, interpersonal, and/or family communication. We seek ambitious emergent scholars with demonstrated success in undergraduate teaching who are also qualified to teach and mentor students in a highly competitive graduate program, and who are deeply invested in the discipline of communication studies. The successful candidates will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of communication, culture, and digital technology, and develop courses in their areas of specialty; candidates will also engage in MA thesis supervision and service to the Department, College, and University. The Department prides itself on having one of the strongest MA programs in the discipline and in hiring for this position it wishes to strengthen an already growing program with great reputation and potential.

Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2017 and continue until the positions are filled.
For more information and to apply visit (JOB#073484)
Syracuse University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to equality of opportunity and a diverse work force. Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact Rachel Hall ( for more information.

Media Lab Doctoral Seminar September 21, 2017

Welcome to the Media Lab Doctoral Seminar
TIME: Thursday September 21, from 16:00–19:00
LOCATION: Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9, Espoo (Otaniemi), 1st floor room 116 (Johanna meeting room).

DOM-L0003 Doctor of Arts at Media Lab Seminar
Responsible  teacher: Prof. Lily Díaz-Kommonen

Presentations by Yrjö Tuunanen and Pirkka Åman. See abstracts below.

Yrjö Tuunanen: Narrative Transparency in Web-Based Multimodal News Discourse

Abstract: The development of information and communication technologies provides innovative ways for compiling multimodal news accounts. Ideally, new narrative structures offer productive ways for media professionals to report complex issues and mechanisms in society, politics, and economy supporting comprehensible, proportional and contextualized journalism.

For news audience, knowledge on potential of digital news storytelling, as well as transparency within journalistic processes and accounts, is increasingly important in the era of the expansion of (audio)visual news dissemination (Pew Research Center 2014), “fake” and “real” news phenomena, as well as diverse media platforms redelivering filtered news feeds and facilitating discussion on current topics.

This dissertation focuses on the ways in which phototexts and other multimodal news compilations implement transparency within their narrative structures and practices. Moreover, this dissertation discusses the potential of narrative transparency, not yet deployed within multimodal news narration. Accordingly, it suggests additional ways for supporting transparent and contextualized news dissemination and advancing news discourse skills for media audience.

This research is based on studies on narration (Abbott 2008; Herman; 2007; Ryan 2007, 2014) including sociological (Somers & Gibson 1994) and psychological (Bruner 1986, 1990, 1991) perspectives on narrative. It builds on theories of multimodality (Kress and Leeuwen 2006; O´Halloran 2011; Page 2010), and on literature on civic voice and culture (Couldry 2010; Dahlgren 2011). Furthemore, it draws on theories of narrative paradigm (Fisher 1999), news frames and news narratives (Johnson-Cartee 2005) as well as literature on media studies (Baudrillard 1994; Chouliaraki 2008; Massumi 2010).

This dissertation contributes to discussions on the paradigmatic shift from objectivity tradition toward transparency norm in journalism (Hellmueller et al. 2013; Karlsson 2010; Kovach & Rosenstiel 2014; Shcudson 2001). Among scholars, transparency has been discussed as “the new objectivity” and defined in terms of 1) disclosure transparency and 2) participatory transparency (Karlsson 2010). This thesis brings a new perspective to this field by focusing on narrative transparency, a rhetorical aspect of transparency, that has not been studied and discussed thoroughly in journalism studies.

See PDF for full list of references.

YT_portraitYrjö Tuunanen is a doctoral candidate in Media Lab. His dissertation studies multimodal news narratives. He holds a master’s degree in Photography from University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki, and since 1990, he has worked as a photojournalist and a teacher of digital and documentary photography. From 2013 onwards, he has worked as a consultant on digital visualisation of financial news and information for the Ministry of Finance, Finland. Together with Heidi Hirsto, D.Sc. (Econ.), he has been running a collaborative research project titled: M-Scopes, Mediated Significations of Finance, focusing on the ways in which economic phenomena and mechanisms are represented in the web-based news media.

Pirkka Åman: Musical serendipity – Designing for contextual music recommendation and discovery

Abstract: Online content services commonly offer personalized content such as books, TV series and music that are tailored to the users’ personal preferences. Online music recommendation services are a subset of personalizable services. As music preferences vary greatly across music listening situations, information about the user’s situation, that is, context information has recently been started to involve in recommendations.

In this thesis, I suggest new ways of including context information, mainly location, to music recommendations by presenting concepts and prototypes that were field tested with real-life users. In the articles, I presented two prototypes, Sounds of Helsinki (Article II) and OUTMedia (Article IV), as well as a platform platform for several context-aware music service concepts (Article III). Furthermore, two articles reviewed the existing music services for their explanations and transparency (Article I) and the ways they involved context factors in interacting with music recommendation and discovery tasks.

The underlying argument and a starting point for the thesis was that by involving context factors, ultimately cultural diversity could be fostered. In an ideal case, adding context to music recommendations would lead to recommendations that offer more non-mainstream music than channels such as the playlist radio or playlists of new releases of online music services. That would lead to better chances for serendipitous discoveries, and, ultimately, given that the user base would be large enough, would promote cultural diversity as well.

While the results show that the users indeed experienced serendipity in many ways, in the light of the results it can not be proven that context-aware music recommendations necessarily lead to cultural diversity. In addition, the results can not be generalized to all context-aware music recommendation cases. Instead, design implications are given to help designers and researches of future systems to build rewarding and enjoyable context-aware content services, especially to enrich the urban environments. These include Supporting open meaning-making through combinations of different media content and places; Visual and interactive UI elements that communicate the system logic or explain why a recommendation was made; Positive restrictions: for example, with location-sensitivity as a positive restriction, allowing the content to be available only when the user is at or nearby a certain location; Supporting serendipity can be approached in many ways, for example, combining music with an activity, a location, certain time or an identity can effectively promote serendipitous discoveries.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 11.20.01Pirkka Åman is a post-graduate student at Media Lab Helsinki, School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University. In his doctoral dissertation he studies how to support music discovery and recommendation in urban environments through ubiquitous interfaces.

Open lecture at Media Lab

Welcome to an open lecture

The Laboratory Turn in the Humanities

by Dr. Urszula Pawlicka
Visiting Researcher in Media Lab
Department of Media, Aalto University

3 October 2017, from 13:00–14:00
Department of Media, Aalto ARTS
Miestentie 3, Otaniemi, 4th floor, room 426

The humanities has made significant conceptual shifts that include fostering strong innovative and collaborative research, employing technologies, and building a bridge between the academy, industry, and community. Above changes mean designing and defining the humanities anew. Creating an academic discipline requires an ‘administrative imagination’; that is to say we must build a structure aligned with development strategy. Consequently, the humanities has undergone an ‘infrastructure turn’ over the past ten years and launched a new physical place: a laboratory. The emergence of labs in the humanities has been crucial for “redefining the role of the humanities” and “re-configuration of the humanities offered by computational technologies”; however, the proliferation and the fragmentation of labs have led to a state of emergency when it becomes urgent to investigate their significance, objectives, and impact.

The goal of the presentation is to analyze three aspects of the humanities labs: its impetus, implementation, and impact. The first part aims to trace a history of the humanities labs, covering the impulse and the mechanism of their creation. This section includes also mapping out laboratories in the humanities established all over the world. The second part presents the complex landscape of the laboratories in the humanities, launched in various ways as a physical research lab, a makerspace, a virtual network, a community project, etc. The last part examines the features of laboratories that significantly reconfigure the humanities seen as an innovative, digital technology-based field, hands-on experimental research, situated practice, engaged in community affairs, and collaborating with local companies.

Urszula Pawlicka is a visiting researcher in Media Lab Helsinki at Aalto University. She obtained her Doctorate degree in Literary Studies at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (2016). She participated in the following international conferences and scholarships: “The Making of the Humanities VI” at the University of Oxford (2017), the American Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Meeting at Harvard University (2016), Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria (2014), Fulbright Scholarship in Creative Media and Digital Culture at Washington State University Vancouver, WA, US (2014/2015), and fellowship in English Department at Stony Brook University, NY, US (2015). Over the years, she has published peer-reviewed scholarly articles (“English Studies”, “CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture”, and “Teksty Drugie”) and two monographs, including Literatura cyfrowa. W stronę podejścia procesualnego (Electronic Literature: Towards Processual Approach) released this month. Her current research interests include the infrastructure and conceptual transformations in the humanities, digital humanities, and the sociology of scientific knowledge.

Designing Knowledge

Aalto University, Department of Media and ACM SIGGRAPH would like to invite you and your community to take part in Designing Knowledge online exhibition.

We encourage unique submissions that present different ways of ‘thinking and doing things in knowledge production and design’.

We welcome works describing how digital archives are used in activities that involve the creation, dissemination, transformation, and sharing of knowledge on a wide variety of topics such as:

• Digital Arts and Computer Graphics
• Digital Humanities
• Sciences

Submissions must include at least 10 keywords that accurately describe the work and areas of knowledge and activity.

Final deadline on the 30th of September

For more information please visit:

Reimagining video conferencing – a design workshop with MIT MediaLab and Aalto MediaLab

Reimagining video conferencing is a co-design workshop aiming to create alternative solutions for virtual panel discussions, video conferencing and other kinds of group meetings online. In this participatory session we will think and discuss about user experiences for a tool that would extend user engagement over physical location and achieve a rich ecology for participation online. The layout and user interface of a tool for group video conferencing would be challenged and reimagined also. This event is organised and led by the Learning Environments research group in MediaLab, department of Art, design and architecture, Aalto University, FI in collaboration with MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
It is free and open for participation for students and non-students.

Sign up by sending an email to including your name, department, study focus, skills (design, development, etc.) and a short description why you are applying.
Thu 14 September
Johanna, Learning Centre
Public event



Föreningen Konstsamfundets styrelse har i samarbete med Stiftelsen Institutum Romanum Finlandiae beslutit att instifta ett Amos Anderson-stipendium vid Finlands Rom-institut.
Amos Anderson, Föreningen Konstsamfundets grundare och donator, stod för en betydande insats både vid grundandet av Finlands Rom-institut samt vid anskaffandet av Villa Lante. Det är därför ett naturligt val att låta det nya stipendiet bära hans namn.
Stipendiet för tre månaders vistelse på Finlands Rom-institut Villa Lante i Rom delas ut en gång per år till en stipendiat med forskningsområde inom Roms och Italiens historia, antikens kulturarv, klassisk filologi, klassisk arkeologi eller konsthistoria. Forskning inom dessa områden med en vinkling på konst och ekonomi premieras. Finlands Rom-institut sköter ansökningsförfarandet och stipendiaten väljs i samråd mellan institutet och Konstsamfundet. Stipendiaten skall vara doktorand, post doc eller på därmed motsvarande utbildningsnivå och forskningsarbetet skall vara avsett att primärt publiceras på svenska.
”Amos Anderson önskade redan innan grundandet av Finlands Rom-institut att vetenskap, konst och näringsliv skulle få samarbeta vid Villa Lante. Det här avspeglar sig i det nyutlysta stipendiet, som förutom Rom-institutets klassiska forskningsområden även välkomnar en inriktning på konst och ekonomi. Stipendiet kompletterar det utbud av vistelsemöjligheter vid Rom-institutet som redan erbjuds genom att bredda möjligheterna för forskare med svenska som publikationsspråk”, säger Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, VD vid Konstsamfundet.
”Finlands Rom-instituts stiftelse vill möjliggöra studietid i Rom för finländska studenter och forskare, framför allt för de som är i början av sin forskarkarriär. Humaniora är under ständig utveckling, och vi hoppas att inriktningen på konst och ekonomi inspirerar nya sökande. Amos Anderson var en av institutets närmaste vänner när det grundades för över sextio år sedan, och vi är mycket glada över att hans arv och minne lever vidare i form av det nya stipendiet.” säger Tuomas M. S. Lehtonen, styrelseordförande för Stiftelsen Institutum Romanum Finlandiae.
Det första stipendiet utlyses 1.9.2017 med deadline 30.9.2017 och den första valda stipendiaten inleder sina studier i Rom under år 2018.
För mer information: Ombudsman Reima Välimäki, IRF, tfn 050 576 2355
Kultursekreterare / informatör Klara Paul, tfn 044 70 30 540,
Till stipendiet:


Föreningen Konstsamfundetin hallitus on yhteistyössä Säätiön Institutum Romanum Finlandiae kanssa päättänyt perustaa Suomen Rooman-instituuttiin Amos Anderson -stipendin.
Stipendi on nimetty Föreningen Konstsamfundetin perustajan ja mesenaatin Amos Andersonin mukaan. Koska Amos Andersonin panos oli keskeinen myös Suomen Rooman-instituutin perustamisessa sekä Villa Lanten renessanssihuvilan hankkimisessa sen käyttöön, uuden stipendin nimeäminen hänen mukaansa oli luonteva valinta.
Stipendi on tarkoitettu kattamaan kolmen kuukauden työskentely ja asuminen Roomassa, ja se jaetaan kerran vuodessa. Stipendi myönnetään tohtorikoulutettavalle, post doc -tutkijalle tai vastaavan tasoisen koulutuksen hankkineelle henkilölle, joka tekee tutkimustyötä jollakin seuraavista tutkimusaloista: Rooman ja Italian historia, antiikin kulttuuriperintö, klassillinen arkeologia, klassillinen filologia ja taidehistoria. Etusijalla ovat hakijat, joiden tutkimusaihe yhdistää taiteiden ja talouden tutkimusta. Tutkimustulosten ensisijainen julkaisukieli tulee olla ruotsi.
”Amos Anderson toivoi jo ennen Suomen Rooman-instituutin perustamista, että tiede, taide ja elinkeinoelämä saisivat tehdä yhteistyötä Villa Lantessa. Tämä toive heijastuu vastajulkistetussa stipendissä, joka toivottaa tervetulleeksi Rooman-instituutin perinteisten tutkimusalojen lisäksi taidetta ja taloutta yhdistävän tutkimuksen. Stipendi laajentaa jo olemassa olevia tutkijoiden vierailumahdollisuuksia Suomen Rooman-instituutissa tarjoamalla uusia mahdollisuuksia tutkijoille, joiden julkaisukieli on ruotsi”, sanoo Konstsamfundetin toimitusjohtaja Kaj-Gustaf Bergh.
”Suomen Rooman-instituutin säätiö haluaa tarjota suomalaisille opiskelijoille ja tutkijoille mahdollisuuden tutkimustyöhön Roomassa, erityisesti heille, jotka ovat tutkijanuransa alussa. Humanistinen tutkimus kehittyy jatkuvasti, ja me toivomme, että taiteen ja talouden painotus inspiroi uusia hakijoita. Amos Anderson oli yksi instituutin läheisimmistä ystävistä ja tukijoista, kun se perustettiin yli kuusikymmentä vuotta sitten, ja olemme erittäin iloisia, että hänen perintönsä ja muistonsa elää uuden stipendin muodossa”, sanoo Tuomas M. S. Lehtonen, säätiön Institutum Romanum Finlandiae hallituksen puheenjohtaja.
Ensimmäinen stipendi julistetaan haettavaksi 1.9.2017. Hakuaika umpeutuu 30.9.2017. Ensimmäinen stipendiaatti aloittaa Roomassa vuoden 2018 aikana.
Lisätietoja Asiamies Reima Välimäki, IRF, puh. 050 576 2355
Kulttuurisihteeri / tiedottaja Klara Paul, puh 044 70 30 540,